*sigh*

As people get older and times change, I realize more and more that people wish that they could go back in time. Back to an era of good music. Back to an era of good films. Back to an era of cheaper gas. Back to an era of rational laws. Back to an era where it’s not hard to get it up. And for us folks… back to an era where our favorite franchises didn’t suck ass.

I can count off at the top of my head every game series I enjoyed that has turned to shit these days. So much content fluctuation has given me cranky gamer syndrome for days. It seems like every developer that gets a hold of a series feels some impulsive need to change everything people loved about these franchises out of some irrational desire to reintroduce the property to a substituted audience. Whether it be children or the lowest common denominator of people who watch anything that looks like a trainwreck because standards have been dropped through the fifth levels of the underworld, straight through planet earth and into the burning sun. And that’s really the thing that bugs me. It feels like people decide that a fan that has been with the series for years is no longer important. Once you graduate from high school, you’re nothing to people that have a need to sell. Sonic, Castlevania, Resident Evil, w/e it is. It’s like people within the entertainment industry get spooked when audiences get old so they go through plastic surgery to try and alter everything about a series just to appeal to a younger crowd out of the assumption that when you come out of the womb, your tastes in entertainment are automatically different than the shit your parents enjoyed. Everyone goes berzerk and do more harm than good.

NO! NOT I!!!

Then, I play Bomberman Ultra or w/e is on PSN. It’s at this point I realize that despite Act Zero’s…. nonsense, Bomberman has never changed. It is literally the only franchise in the world that has decided to stand it’s ground and not lose it’s identity in a misguided attempt at maintaining relevance. This is one guy that I’m sure everyone could call a trooper. The games rarely change their tone or general gameplay.

My first experience with Bomberman was actually on the N64 with …B64. It was an alright game, I thought the single player was a bore, but dat music was incredible. I think it was only the 64 games that had all the good music. But then, I got Atomic Bomberman on PC and I didn’t look back. The game was the tits! Each Bomber having their own color coded explosions, the kick ass soundtrack, all the silly one liner commentary (“YOU DROPPED A BOMB ON MEEE”)

Color coded explosions ruled

Bombs too

This was the shit!

I never really understood why everyone hates this game so much. Sure it’s more over the top and not as “cutsy” as the original games, but damn it was awesome! And faster paced.

After the N64 era, it seems as with every other franchise after Sony took over everything, Bomberman completely vanished. It was no longer on the radar. We’ve had a couple of games (Generations and Jetters, along with those handheld titles), Grand Theft Auto and the numerous racing games modeled after Fast and the Furious took everyone by storm. Now, EVERY game had to be that way or hit the highway. The whole “kiddy” label was running rampant in this generation. Any game carrying that name was a disgrace to gaming! It’s not so highly sought after like it is these days, it was an insult back then. It’s like how people seek to be fat and gay as it becomes fashionable. Vices of the past become fashions of the present.

Reason being is, of course, this.

As you can see, eyebrows ascended into the heavens.

So now you got mother fuckers going around proclaiming how awesome it is that things get “cuter”. It’s to avoid shit like Act Zero from happening again.

But regardless of Hudson’s desire to quickly make up for it in the form of Bomberman Live, it’s something they were able to live down but never recover from. It’s absolutely crazy how people would regard Bomberman as a significant franchise….. and yet there is NO discussion of it’s merit whatsoever. Nothing about the quality of the games in the series, strats or tips for games, universe consistency, nothing.

I’m in the mindset that Bomberman was never popular to begin with and is only significant to the hardcore, and here I am praying I am wrong. Afterall, the series is already marred by a lack of marketing as it is, people can’t come to what they don’t know. The only game that sold well in the series was Bomberman 64.

Weird, but awesome 90s advertising.

Here’s the thing about series that people actually feel are significant. One, people know the traditional gameplay format and actually enjoy it. I don’t know a single a person that despises Bomberman’s gameplay, but it sho ain’t the talk of the town. Aside from 64 and Hero, the gameplay could be said to have stagnated as it has not improved much after the late 90s. The most they have now are new gameplay modes that no one bothers with, and little stupid “play dress up with crappy cartoony costumes” gimmicks. To my knowledge, Bomberman Jetters was the last game to actually add a few new features to it’s battle mode such as new level features like setting off rockets on people or having weather effect bomb detonation times (weird) as well as character specific special attacks (Flame Bomber was so broken). Beyond that, though, there isn’t that much more you can do with Bomberman’s gameplay.

Other than that, no one really knows about the series content (does it have content?). The main character isn’t exactly anyone’s cup of tea.

……even Kirby looks cooler.

Do you know what the fuck he’s supposed to be? Alien? Robot? Apparently the latter, I think the first game was about a robot Bomber wanting to become human. I think that failed for the most part as he looks nothing like Lode Runner later on in the series.

Or maybe this guy’s the original, idk…

 

He’s supposed to have his own arch nemesis known as Bagular or something.

Aw shit. They took Robotnik and Wily and forced them to go FUUUUUUUUUUUUU… SION! HAAAAAAAA! And what’s dat monocle?

Yeah, this fat bitch has been in several games in the series, most notably Bomberman Hero. He had like a red gas mask on in that game.

Does he not look like a pissed off santa claus?

So it’s like… he just started shit for no reason. Got his ass whooped so much from Bomberman 94, Super B 3 and 4, Neo B, B Hero, B World, B Wars and B Portable. He was supposedly responsible for creating the original 5 evil bombers from Super Bomber 1-3 I think.

Shit, I don’t even know what the series is about. It’s mostly just a random collection of levels where you kill stuff and move on. Kill bosses and move on to the next area. I don’t think people actually like the single player modes (and I know damn well people hated 64’s, Generations and Jetters slow ass puzzle fests) After multiplayer was brought into the series, that’s Bomberman’s trademark. Single player should honestly be like Bomberman Hero without the puzzles… and vehicles. Using the old format of bombing enemies to proceed is far too slow a pace for anyone to care for several levels on end. It’s too damn repetitive. It’s probably the reason why the international versions of Bomberman Blast on the Wii has no single player mode to speak of.

At the same time, it’s gotta feel like hell when the main character you play is a normal bomberman with basic abilities, while your enemies are enhanced bombers with magnet powers, daggers, flight, giant green shield waves or w/e awesome shit they can muster. And the evil bombers look cooler to boot.

Man, Bomberman looks sooooo lame in comparison to his competition.

Not to mention just how badly they would kick your ass! I mean they were probably the hardest bosses to ever fight in any game, they would just wreck your shit with no lube!

Fuck Orion

I think the N64 games were the only ones with decent content in them aside from Atomic. The music was actually decent and it tried to be a cool series of games.

Even the villains were tight.

After that, though, Hudson went into lame land and started making the series childish again. They tried to capitalize off the success of Pokemon with a Blue a Red version called “Bomberman Max” and had their own rip off pokemon called Charaboms.

Sweet Ra….

Needless to say, those plans backfired since Charaboms were implemented horribly. Battles played out in “programming simulations” where you select 3 set of strategies (Attack, Defend, Special) and watch the battle play out. Essentially, they made it into a gambling match where you wing it in a 3 round literal rock paper scissors match.

They were rightfully ditched after Jetters, though, but to no avail, it did nothing for the series image. So afterward, the series started going into some themepark shit called “Bomberman Land” where the heads started becoming ovals as they’re “just cuter” and it devolved into minigame bullshit. And the bombers got even lamer.

He doesn’t even have the mean Yakuza stare anymore!

People didn’t even want to go near the series anymore. Actually, people just up and forgot it exists. The only time anyone paid attention was with Act Zero’s make over. But the one thing that strikes me oddly is that people don’t let shit go in the video game world. We are STILL hearing about Sega’s terrible fuck up with the Saturn. Sonic 06 is STILL bitched about even though even SEGA wants to forget it ever happened. Act Zero? Hey, it’s cool man, w/e.

That’s a sure sign no one cares about Bomberman. It’s been under-promoted and is given no attention by the media as far as games go. You’ll never find a more isolated franchise that people consider important to this very day.

At the same time, the multiplayer aspect doesn’t resonate with todays anti-social OCD ridden teenagers/hardcore. Bomberman really only works in local multiplayer, it’s a party type of game. The kicking, the screaming, the random nature and accident prone tendencies the series produces creates an atmosphere that turns anyone into a kid inside. Online is the dimension of incredibly anal tourneyf- … I mean players who stress the importance of superiority in skill above all else. Bomberman’s multiplayer hasn’t been suitable for tournaments since… ever. These folks strip games down to their mechanics habitually. Not to mention that there’s far too many games that appease the online desires that pervade the hardcore world that Bomberman can’t really compete.  I’m playing Ultimate MVC3 (yeah, I bought it) and this bitch is prompting me 3 fucking times that I am not signed into PSN! I ain’t trying to risk a seizure trying to play some asshole who won’t stop spamming Zero’s asshole combos. With an environment that is dedicated to the alpha male, Bomberman is not worthy. How many people are still playing Bomberman Live now? How many people bought Bomberman Blast? Ultra?

We’re fuckin lucky people still talk about Sonic these days. Or even Pac Man (Got a tie-in cartoon/toy deal too). Bomberman isn’t even on the map. It’s one of the more under-discussed franchises around. Has no real controversy, has no real fanbase to speak of, and has no virtual success beyond the digital realm apparently. How is it that people can go around and consider Bomberman to be a significant mascot…. when no one gives a damn about the series?

On the other hand, I suppose it’s a good thing. People can just up and play the games without losing sleep over some crap some asshole might’ve said over the internet about it’s gameplay. IF… they care enough to play in the first place.

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